Women's preview: Sun Belt Conference

Women's preview: Sun Belt Conference

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Women's preview: Sun Belt Conference

As one of only two Florida schools in the Sun Belt Conference, you might say Florida International has a leg up when it comes time to start the spring season. Afterall, they’ve had the luxury of warm spring weather when conference foes like Denver and North Texas haven’t been quite so lucky.

Head coach Joe Vogel is careful with the term “leg up,” however, and it makes sense when you look at Florida International’s conference championship record of late. The Panthers finished runner-up in the Sun Belt in 2007 and ’08, but haven’t finished better than fourth since. They made it to regional play three of those years – including the past two – based on a strong ranking.

“When we get to conference, we really don’t play very well, unfortunately,” Vogel said.

Vogel recognizes that so much of postseason success is timing. If Florida International hits the end of the season on an upswing, Vogel could see them becoming the first Panther team in recent history to reach the national championship.

Florida International claims the two lowest scorers in the conference in senior Katie Mundy and sophomore Shelby Coyle. They highlight a team that lost only two seniors last year.

“We’re very similar. The girls have all basically stepped it up a little bit,” Vogel said. “They’ve all gotten a little bit better in their stroke averages and that’s what we’re going to have to rely on right now, that they’re going to be a little bit better and can hang on and do that in the spring as well.”

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Top of the class: Denver

Best player in the fall: Rachael Watton, Denver

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Past champions

2007: Denver

2008: Denver

2009: Denver

2010: Denver

2011: Denver

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Conference capsules

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Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

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